Ever Eaten Lunch at FW Woolworth's Counter?

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bill1

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...buy her cigarettes with a note...
used to buy liquor this way! My, have times changed.

But an earlier post also reminded me of the huge pharmaceutical advancements that have been made in treating things like epilepsy. So a lot of change for the better.
 

noboundaries

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As soon as I could ride a two wheel bike, I became my parent's cigarette delivery boy. I bought them at liquor stores, and later convenience stores. It continued until I was 16. Dad smoked Salems; mom changed her brand preference quite often. I never gave it a second thought. It was just another chore. And definitely another time.

My HS football coach had a no smoking rule to be on the team. One afternoon I was picking up my dad's 5 packs a day of Salems when the head coach walked into the convenience store. He asked, "Are those for you?" "Nope. My old man." Coach never questioned my answer.

I drove home, told dad what happened, and said something I can't write here. It was clear I'd bought the last pack of cigarettes for either of them because I wasn't going to risk getting kicked off the team.

They both quit smoking that day, cold turkey, or so they said. It probably bought them both a few more years but the habit got them at the end.

Frankly, I could not care less if someone smokes or not. My sister is a smoker. I served to fly jets, but with time, I realized my service was to protect and respect personal freedom, not make people believe or act as I do.

I tried one puff of a cigarette when I was 12 years old. One puff was enough. And the price these days. Wow. Wacky weed might be cheaper!

Disclaimer: No Woolworth's were involved in the making of this memory.
 

bill ace 350

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one of my first non-farm jobs was a busboy/dishwasher at a Kmart Restaurant.

Later moved to cook.

Good times.
 

bill1

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Ray's post got me thinking...there's just no place in the country where smoking is commonplace anymore, is there? (Europe and Japan still has plenty.) I can go months now without smelling a cigarette.
But when I do, it sure reminds me of my Pop. Mom was always hounding him to quit, but it was obvious he loved it. After he suffered brain cancer, his doc guilted him into thinking it was due to the smokes, although he spent decades at work around tricholoroethane and other known carcinogenic solvents.
I just can't stop the association in my mind with Smokin' Dad being this incredibly strong guy who could do anything and non-smokin' dad being at death's door with diminished mental capacity. So when I get that first whiff of a distant smoker, there's a fraction of a second when I think I'm finally in heaven about to see him again as I remembered him in his prime.
I used to enjoy a pipe, but the social stigma now is such that I just don't bother and it never had the draw (addiction?) for me that cigarettes had for my Dad.
 

noboundaries

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Isn't it interesting that liquor stores were the first convenience stores, at least in CA. Milk, bread, snacks, beer, booze, and cigarettes were all available, 7 days a week.

I know for a fact it is VERY different in other states. I saw blue laws, dry counties, exclusion zones, ABC stores, etc, as I lived and traveled around the country. When I visited a girlfriend in AZ, the liquor at the grocery store was in a separate room with a separate register. Buyers had to turn over their open carry firearms to the clerk, go inside to buy their beer and booze, step out of the room, retrieve their firearm, and walk outside with their purchase. That memory still makes smile.
 
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Brokenhandle

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One thing I remember as a kid and I still find funny...seemed like every insurance salesman, including life and health insurance, came to your house and smoked! Still have some ashtrays that the insurance companies gave out. Don't see that anymore!

Ryan
 

mneeley490

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Wow, memories.
We had both a Woolworth's and a Newberry's nearly side-by-side at the Northgate Mall in Seattle. (First post-war mall in the country, btw, in 1950. It was open-air until the early 70's.)
Back in the late 60's-early 70's I would get my weekly $1 allowance every Saturday, and head down there with my best friend. For a buck, I could get a hot dog or burger & small Coke at the lunch counter in Bartell Drugs, which is still a local chain around here (though they haven't had food service since probably 1980). If I happened to have a few cents more, which wasn't often, I could hit the much more fancy and expensive Woolworth's lunch counter and get a grilled cheese sandwich & Coke. I felt like big stuff if I ate there. Hobnobbing with the Rockefellers and such.
The only Woolworth's I know of now is in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Our Newberry's didn't have a lunch counter, but it did have a small pet department. I think I bought a turtle there once. I've read that they actually sold small monkeys at one time, back in the 50's.

Our Sears didn't serve food either, but it did have a chocolate & nut shop, oddly. Once in a while, my folks would splurge, and buy a 1/2 pound of something.
My father-in-law, who was one of the "thriftiest" people I ever knew, would walk the neighborhood garage sales on the lookout for broken Sears tools. He'd try to get it for free, or at least no more than 25 cents, then take it back to Sears and get a new replacement. Back then, they didn't ask for a receipt or quibble about how old the tool was. When he died in 1985, he must have had over $25K worth of tools in his garage, which his wife then sold at her own garage sale for pennies on the dollar. I'm sure he was spinning in his grave over that.
 
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noboundaries

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My father-in-law, who was one of the "thriftiest" people I ever knew, would walk the neighborhood garage sales on the lookout for broken Sears tools. He'd try to get it for free, or at least no more than 25 cents, then take it back to Sears and get a new replacement. Back then, they didn't ask for a receipt or quibble about how old the tool was. When he died in 1985, he must have had over $25K worth of tools in his garage, which his wife then sold at her own garage sale for pennies on the dollar. I'm sure he was spinning in his grave over that.
Wow. That's so sad.

The rest were great memories!
 

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